MADISON - Fishing license sales for Saturday's fishing season opener are looking very similar to last year's, another year when cold spring weather left many northern lakes covered in ice as well.
Through Tuesday, April 29, 329,333 anglers had purchased fishing licenses and 76,270 trout stamps. That's a bit behind last year at the same time, when 335,639 anglers had purchased fishing licenses and 75,856 trout stamps. It compares to 448,472 at the same point before the 2012 season, which followed the warmest spring on record statewide.
Karl Scheidegger, fisheries outreach leader, expects sales to pick up in coming days. "People are tired of the long winter and will gladly venture outside to enjoy the opening day tradition."
And he notes that last year's license sales caught up to the normal levels by mid-summer. Typically, 1.3 million to 1.4 million anglers buy Wisconsin fishing licenses.
Anglers have three easy ways to buy their license: over the Internet through the Online Licensing Center on the DNR website, at all authorized license agents, at DNR Service Centers (Hours for service centers vary; check the DNR website for service center days and hours of operation; DNR Service Centers are not open on Saturdays), or by calling toll-free 1-877-LICENSE (1-877-945-4236).